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Video - Montreal opens its first Water Airport

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Situated right next to these roller coasters of the amusement park and the Jacques-Cartier bridge in downtown Montreal, the province of Quebec now has its first seaplane-dedicated Water Airport called, in english, Montreal / Saint Helen's Island, on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, since May, this year.

Pierre-André Boyer, Director of Corporate Development - Montreal Water Airport:

"We use the length of the river that is certified by Transport Canada and the port of Montreal, between the Concorde bridge, down to the North East tip of Saint Helen's Island. We have three landing and take-off areas, depending of course, on the weather conditions and wind."

No signposts or large buildings, for the moment, but just this small facility that serves as reception for guests, and this marina to park seaplanes.

An appropriate geographic location for this mode of transport.

Victor Francoeur - Chief Executive Officer -Montreal Water Airport :

"Today we have the advantage of technologies and types of aircraft able to land in a current of 7 knots, which is favourable for seaplanes because it attenuates ( flattens out ) the waves and wakes caused by boats, making it an environment much more stable for landing."

A service that caters to a business clientele and tourists eager to access downtown Montreal quickly, without having to go through the airport located 20 km ( 12 miles ) from here.

Although Victor Francoeur wishes to remain discreet about the investment costs of these facilities, the cost of use for customers starts at $ 350 ( € 260 ) excluding tax, per landing. The price varies according to several criteria, such as the aircraft size, number of passengers and the duration of parking.

Officials are aware of the problem of noise, so landings and take-offs will normally be prohibited between 17.00h. and 08.00h.

Victor Francoeur - Chief Executive Officer -Montreal Water Airport :

"We have some aircraft that will make a lot of noise, because there are things that are beyond our control, including the wind strength and direction, and other elements. So if we find that the nuisance level becomes too much for people in the environs, then we will take the necessary corrective measures."

The outcome of a Franco-Québécois partnership, this project under consideration for five years, had to get a number of operating permits prior to seeing the light of day.

At the moment there is not so much traffic, but the owner would like to see between 500 and 600 visits during this first season, still far behind the 65,000 that Vancouver water airport records annually. For obvious reasons, this facility will not be functional in winter. Its activities will therefore take place between 1st., May and 31st., October of each year.

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